Thursday, August 13, 2015

The UPside of a Letter

This . . . I believe. 

The writer of the handwritten note bible has this to say about it . . . "Part of the pleasure of sending a handwritten note is picturing its arrival.

Visualize the person sorting through the flotsam and jetsam of junk mail, grocery store specials, institutional fundraising, event announcements, and bills--a dreary landscape of low-interest clutter that is suddenly brightened by a treasure. It's like a gift; the anticipation that leads up to opening a handwritten note adds to the actual pleasure for both the giver and the receiver."

Shepherd is so right on, isn't she? Perhaps her surname aptly describes what she does for some of us in her little book: She's the note-writing shepherd, and we are the eager-to-learn sheep. I say she is our cognoscenti! The cognoscenti we need, and heed, as we believe. She goes on to say that "The envelope also has a ceremonial job to do: to prepare the reader to enjoy reading what is in the note." Oh, I could go on and quote her from start to finish, but where's the fun in that? I will, however add this:  "The recipient sits down to read your note already anticipating that they will hear in their head the voice of someone they know, probably saying something they will enjoy. For a few minutes you will seem to be there with them through the power of the handwritten word." I could not agree more! A favorite pen friend sat next to me in the passenger seat as I sat in the post office parking lot this afternoon, and read, with unabashed glee! The only two people in the world then? That penner . . . and me. So, in a vein of truth, I hereby quote Jane Austen, "Behold me going to write you as handsome a letter as I can. Wish me luck." Dear Jane forgot to add:  Child, wait until you see the envelope!

Child! I hadn't heard that word used in the context it arrived in for far too long. Randall, dear Randall, you make me dig up relish long forgotten southern roots! My sister, Mina often prefaced a good piece of gossip with, "Child, let me tell you . . .!" And "girl." I never met an adult who was ever offended when addressed with either word; today it's iffy, as in you might get your feelings hurt if you call someone who is not your girlfriend, girl. Hug your neck for me, Randall! BTW, I loved hearing Maya Angelou address the person she conversed with as "child." You felt beloved. I felt a member of her intimate circle of likable folk. (sigh) She would not have tolerated me well at all. (bigger sigh)

So, in keeping with my belief, which couples Shepherd's and my own quite compatibly, I try to make the inside fit with the outside. Yes, sometimes less is more when the UPside of a letter is INside. Take this one for example. I might not remember what I wrote, but I did my best to have the separate elements match. The results were neat, and neater still, as in K.I.S.S., or more specifically: Keep It Simple Sister. I hear echoes of, "That'll do, Limner," when I get it right.

Do you ever make a mistake after you've dressed up the envelope? Well, a fun way to save face is simple: Tear or cut away the mistakes, tape a clear window from the inside, camouflage some of the negative space to make it look like it's part of your original design, and you're good to go!

Need a clever way to show off the back? (grinning)


How often do you get two copies of the NYT Magazine? With clever-clever covers? Trust me. Everything happens for a reason!


second front

Double your pleasure! Double your fun! Sorry. I forgot to take a photo of the back. It had sealing wax and everything. The Simplicity Patterns embellishments are from Flow Magazine. Wait! It could be Butterick, McCall? . . . Uh, oh. There's rolling thunder up above my head. The last storm rolled through day before yesterday. We're practically parched hereabouts. Hope your canteen's full.

There's more to say, but JC called to say--he's on his way home. The airport isn't so very far away, therefore . . . it's time to slip back into my real life. Dinner needs doing. 

Be well.


P.S. Mail went out! Glory be! Wait until you see what was in my box! 


  1. Nice post, Limner! And I am really jealous of your T-storm but not your hot weather. Yes, reading a letter is rather like a visit from a friend, isn't it? And i wouldn't mind being called "girl" or Child!

  2. Thanks, Pamela! Please, don't be jealous. We pay for each drop. :) You'd make a great honorary southerner! LOL. Randall is great at channeling my inner southern girl/child.